Anyone who has taken the estate of a loved one through the Probate Court for administration has more than likely wished that the process was smoother, easier, and faster.
Many people don’t know that in addition to drafting your Last Will and Testament to bequeath your property and personal items, you can also use other legal tools while you are living to ensure that certain assets end up with the person that you wish.
Transfer on Death Designation Affidavits in Ohio for real property allow your specified beneficiaries to have access to those assets much quicker and easier than having to go through the probate administration process.
Ohio Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit for Real Property:
In Ohio, a Transfer on Death Designation Affidavits is a tool that can be used to transfer real estate property upon your death directly to the person you designate as your beneficiary.
- Practice Note: You can designate more than one person to be the beneficiary of your property, either as joint beneficiaries or as a secondary designee.
Drafting and executing an effective Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit in Ohio is a detailed process, but here is the general overview of how they work:
While the property owner is still living and competent, the Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit assigning a beneficiary for your real property is drafted, signed, and sworn to before a notary and then recorded with the Ohio Recorder’s Office.
- Practice Note: If the property owner is legally married and the beneficiary of the property is not the spouse, then their spouse must sign the affidavit as well!
After the death of the property owner, the beneficiary or executor must file a certified copy of the death certificate and their own sworn affidavit in the Recorder’s office confirming the death of the property owner and the existence of the Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit before the property is legally transferred to the designated beneficiary.
- Practice Note: A TOD Designation Affidavit does not eliminate any Ohio or federal estate taxes that otherwise would have been payable if the property had gone through the Probate Court.
A Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit accomplishes several goals: Your wishes and desires for the distribution of your real property is fulfilled, it saves your estate the fees and costs associated with prolonged administration in Probate Court, and it makes your executor’s job much less complicated during an already difficult time.
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